(pics by dan read)
Panto season must be upon us… (Oh no it isn’t!)…
Finland’s hard rock heroes Lordi descend upon Chester to rape and pillage the Live Rooms in a maelstrom of slapstick shock horror.
How the night went from catching up with friends from afar with a sit-down curry in Abergele at 8.45 to watching Eurovision shock-rock in Chester at 9.20 is one of the wonders of spontaneity and fast cars.
The Live Rooms are buzzing, full of black t-shirts on a mission to sin; for this is heavy metal, the only righteous way.
It’s an apocalypse shitstorm of neon and spandex, and the costume clad Finns are Lordi, and they are national heroes.
They ascend the stage and 500 disciples give the devil sign salute. This is a horrification world where men call themselves Men and women are happily referred to as Bitches.
For someone who was discussing mountain climbing while scoffing a Bangladeshi buffet half an hour earlier and had not even heard of Lordi, this was a crash-course into another culture; a chainsaw buffet. It turns out they even have their faces on Finnish postage stamps, such is their national status! I could not imagine a world where I go to the Western Union near me and buy stamps with these guy’s face on them, I’m so glad it is not the case.
Hellwide success landed on the Lordi doorstep in 2006 when they turned the Eurovision Song Contest world upside down by becoming not only the first Finnish band to win it, but also the first non-sugar coated shit act to win it.
Not being manufactured just for the competition and already on their third album, it propelled them toward a wider audience and subsequent tours and releases.
The initial sight of theatrics and Klingon/S’ona costume does have that shock-rock affect in a hard-rock hallelujah kind of way and I did initially muse over ‘putting up with this rubbish’ for an entire set.
Those musings were put to bed as Lordi kept the songs short and punchy and the visual zombie rawk machine set at maximum. The one hour twenty flew by in a whirlwind of smoking skulls hard rock, heavy metal, euro-pop entertainment.
It was good, harmless fun, although I couldn’t eat a whole one.
The crowd lapped it up; every word, every chant, every riff as they charged through Scare Force One, Who’s Your Daddy, Would You Love A Monsterman, How To Slice A Whore (apparently a national pastime in Finland).